Sunday, December 12, 2010
Easy. Fast. Not two words that are usually combined with "lasagna".
Many of us have the stereotypical image of the Italian mother/grandmother simmering sauces and taking all day (and all the dishes in the house) to make lasagna. Most of us that made our first lasagnas remember it as a similar all-day affair.
It doesn't have to be that way. Really.
How about lasagna that took 5 minutes to prepare in a baking dish, and 1 hour to bake? Eight dishes used: bowl, baking dish, fork, and spoon; two dinner plates and two forks.
The sauce is normally what takes the longest to prepare. I made the bolognese sauce for spaghetti last night. Who doesn't end up with a ton of extra sauce after making spaghetti? Instead of day 2 or 3 of spaghetti, make lasagna!
I reserved the rest of the sauce for today's lasagna. If you don't make your own sauce, then the store bought stuff like Prego or Ragu is just fine.
Cheese mixture of cottage cheese, mozzarella, and an egg were combined in a bowl.
My short cut tip: don't cook the lasagna noodle first. Seriously. If you're baking lasagna, you do not need to cook the lasagna noodle! You end up with one less dish to wash, and the finished lasagna comes out 'al dente' rather than mushy with a pre-cooked lasagna noodle. Just make sure to use a generous portion of sauce on top of your noodles. Give it a try!
In my baking dish, I started off with a layer of sauce on the bottom, an uncooked lasagna noodle, cheese, and sauce. Repeat 2 more times. End by adding mozzarella on the top.
Bake in an oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, covered with foil or lid. Then remove foil or lid and bake for another 15 minutes for a browned top. Let cool 10-15 minutes. Serve with salad and favorite house wine.
Who said lasagna is hard and time consuming? The hardest part is the growling stomach waiting to chow down!